"My family depends largely on agriculture. We have always used traditional methods, but they have always performed poorly. The cost of fertilisers and pesticides was very high, so we were unable to make enough to even just survive. My husband had to get a second job and often went to cut and then transport "rattan", a palm common to these parts", said Yoam, a 45-year-old woman who lives in the village of Koh Sla, Cambodia.
70% of the families in Koh Sla live on agriculture. Traditional techniques are often ineffective because they grow plants that need lots of water and are therefore only productive during the rainy season. At the same time, they don’t know how to use natural fertilisers or how to prevent damage caused by chemical pesticides.
Yoam continued: "ActionAid has worked with us to improve our circumstances: thanks to a loan of just over 100 thousand Riel (about 20 Euros) we were able to start a chicken farm and began to grow seasonal vegetables, such as chickpeas, beans, cucumbers and celery. We earn up to 20,500 Riel per day (about 4 Euros) and I always have fresh vegetables to feed my six children! Now my husband no longer has to go to the forest to work and he helps me with the animals and in the fields".
ActionAid initiated micro-credit projects in which 64 families took part and, in addition to receiving a loan for their businesses, attended training courses on choosing and breeding poultry and which vegetables to plant according to the seasons, so that the fields always stay productive.
Yoam concluded: "Thanks to the technical and economic support provided by ActionAid, I have been able to improve the life of my family and now I share my knowledge with our entire community".